Koh Lanta: a complete guide

Sander & MariskaBeautiful Koh Lanta is a real paradise for peace seekers and families with children. Instead of overcrowded beaches and big parties, here you’ll find secluded bays and a reggae scene with cool beach bars. Come sunset the torches are lit, and the coastline is embellished with red and yellow lanterns.

So it’s no wonder we adore Koh Lanta. We especially love the quiet and southern part of the island. The long stretches of beach along the west coast suit us tremendously well. You’ll never get enough of fantastic Koh Lanta!
– Sander & Mariska

Sights in Koh Lanta

To us, Koh Lanta feels like coming home. Especially if there’s a motorbike in front of the door and we can go explore the island on our own. Although we’ve traveled along all of Koh Lanta’s roads at least once, it never gets boring. These are – according to us – the best things to see and do on the island.

1. Ride a motorbike

Exploring Koh Lanta with the motorbike

Rent a motorbike and race across the island. This is the best way to experience Koh Lanta. Vroom-vroom!

Bamboo Bay Beach in Koh Lanta

The entire west coast of Koh Lanta consists of gorgeous beaches; and the farther south you go, the more unspoiled they are.

Rent a Kayak and explore the beaches of Koh Rok

The most beautiful snorkeling spot is on the uninhabited island of Koh Rok, south of Koh Lanta, which, by the way, is also a great place to spend the night camping.

Mu Koh Lanta National Park

A protected nature reserve in Koh Lanta’s hilly south. Here you’ll find two beaches, a jungle trail and lots and lots of rude monkeys.

Koh Lanta Old Town

A pleasant little village on Koh Lanta’s quiet east coast. You can get some excellent food with a sea view here.

6. Four Island Tour

Emerald Cave in Koh Mook

Go to nearby islands by speedboat on a snorkeling tour where, among other things, you’ll get to explore the Emerald Cave near Koh Muk; it’s a big adventure!

Lanta Animal Welfare

Attention all animal lovers! At Lanta Animal Welfare neglected dogs and cats get a second lease on life and you can make a difference.

Oasis Yoga Koh Lanta

Yoga teachers Fara & Kate teach the best yoga courses on the island. Keep an eye on their website for the latest opening hours and classes.

Talabeng Sea Kayaking

Really adventurous day trip during which you won’t only go kayaking, but you’ll also explore different caves. Not for people who are scared of heights!

Time For Lime on Koh Lanta

At Time For Lime, you’ll be cooking classic Thai dishes, under the supervision of Noi, which you can then eat on the beach. The nicest cooking school on Koh Lanta!

Beaches in Koh Lanta

Koh Lanta consists of two parts: Koh Lanta Noi is where the locals live and Koh Lanta Yai is where you’ll be staying as a tourist. Koh Lanta Yai’s west coast has been blessed with beaches that stretch out for miles, while the east coast is partially covered in mangrove forests. And the farther south you go, the more unspoiled the beaches become.

1. Kawkwang Beach

Kawkwang Beach in Koh Lanta

Kawkwang Beach is the northwestern tip of Koh Lanta. A beautiful strip of sand, with virtually no new buildings, where it’s always just peaceful and calm.

2. Klong Dao Beach

Klong Dao Beach in Koh Lanta

Near Kawkwang Beach and measuring an impressive three kilometers, this beach lies in a bay, making for calm waters and a shallow sea, ideal for families.

3. Long Beach (Pra Ae)

Phra Ae in Koh Lanta

The most popular (swimming) beach, stretching on for a whopping five kilometers. Despite a big range of hotels and restaurants, Long Beach still feels pretty relaxed.

4. Relax Bay

Relax Beach Resort in Koh Lanta Beach

Relax Bay, south of Long Beach, is one of Koh Lanta’s little secrets. Go beyond the rocks and you’ll discover this little paradise and a few resorts. Just wonderful!

Klong Khao Beach in Koh Lanta

This is Koh Lanta’s main backpacker beach, with cheap accommodation, hip bars, and a relaxed atmosphere. It’s not a great swimming beach, unfortunately, but it is great for watching the sun go down.

6. Klong Nin Beach

Klong Nin Beach in Koh Lanta

Klong Nin Beach is located next to a small town at the center of Koh Lanta. Great swimming beach with a mix of cheap hostels and luxury resorts.

7. Kantiang Bay

Katiang Bay in Koh Lanta

With two kilometers of golden sand in a magnificent bay, Kantiang Bay is hailed as one of the most beautiful beaches in Thailand. Perfect for couples and honeymooners.

Ao Nuy Beach in Koh Lanta

Our favorite little beach! Here you won’t find any hotels, just one tiny, somewhat ramshackle, local restaurant, situated in a small, isolated bay. You’ll have the beach all to yourself.

Mu Koh Lanta National Park

Protected nature reserve with a pebble beach and a sandy beach. The entrance fee is 200 Thai Baht per person. The route that takes you there (and the viewpoints) alone is worth it!

Bamboo Bay Beach in Koh Lanta

With two kilometers of golden sand in a magnificent bay, Kantiang Bay is hailed as one of the most beautiful beaches in Thailand. Perfect for couples and honeymooners.

Hotels in Koh Lanta

We simply adore Koh Lanta, a lovely island off the Krabi coast that’s a great place for rest and relaxation. Riding along its unspoiled southern coastline is amazing and a nice and quiet beach is never far away. We managed to list 10 of the best accommodations. Have an amazing stay!

hey beach koh lanta hostel

1. Hey Beach Hostel

 Pleasant atmosphere On the beach  Clean hostel

$ – Koh Lanta’s number one Beach Hostel is surrounded by fun bars with bean bags and lounge chairs. This isn’t a party hostel and the atmosphere is very mellow. It’s located near Saladan Pier on the island’s northwest.

koh lanta mermaid boutique house

2. Lanta Mermaid Boutique House

 Pleasant staff Near the beach  Family rooms

$$ – A great hotel in Koh Lanta’s north, with excellent rooms for more than reasonable prices. The staff is really kind, there are many nice restaurants nearby and to get to the beach you just need to cross the road!

relax bay resort koh lanta

3. Relax Bay Resort

 Excellent location Right on the beach  Romantic resort

$$ – Out of all the locations on this list, the Relax Bay Resort might have the most beautiful location. You’re only a few steps away from a gorgeous private beach, where it’s always calm and quiet. Top-notch!

lon beach resort koh lanta

4. Long Beach Chalet

 Spacious bungalows in the garden  Swimming pool Near the beach

$$ – Long Beach Chalet’s bungalows are affordable and near the beach. But its best (and more expensive) accommodations are the “beach front bungalows”, which are absolutely amazing!

koh lanta hotel castaway

5. Lanta Castaway Beach Resort

 Right on the beach  Nice atmosphere Family bungalows

$$$ – Situated south of Long Beach, in central Koh Lanta, Castaway has an amazing beach right out front. The rooms are excellent and the place just has a really nice vibe; you’ll know what we mean once you stayed there yourself!

koh lanta resort layana

6. Layana Resort & Spa

 Luxurious stay  Amazing view Two swimming pools

$$$ – The Layana Resort is TripAdvisor’s “Best hotel in Thailand in 2017”. Hardly a coincidence, as this resort has literally everything you need to completely relax and unwind. Our stay there was just dreamy…

bee bee bungalows

7. Bee Bee Bungalows

Friendly owner  Beach bungalows Nice atmosphere

$ – Once in a while you come across somewhere you immediately feel at home, Bee Bee is one of those places! Its very basic bungalows are right on the beach and online reservations aren’t possible, so it’s first come, first serve!

coco lanta resort

8. Coco Lanta Resort

Beautiful budget resort  Swimming pool Family bungalows

$$ – The Coco Lanta Resort is right on the beach and has a lovely garden swimming pool. The rooms are clean, modern and air conditioned. This beach resort has got – in our opinion – the island’s best price/quality ratio.

baan rim lay koh lanta hotels

9. Baan Rim Lay

On the beach  Clean bungalows Friendly staff

$$ – One of the best-reviewed accommodations on Koh Lanta! The bungalows are located on a nice and quiet beach with a pleasant sea breeze. This is what Koh Lanta is all about! The bungalows are equipped with a small fridge, a safe, a seating corner, a porch, and wifi.

koh lanta i talay resort

10. I Talay Lanta

Small-scale  Authentic stay Friendly owner

$$ – This small-scale family hotel lies on Koh Lanta’s authentic west coast. You’ll be one of very few tourists, which is what makes it so special. The view from the balcony in the morning is amazing!

Restaurants in Koh Lanta

Koh Lanta oozes hippie vibes; this is something you’ll also notice in our restaurant tips, from chilled out beach bars, where you can enjoy the sunset with a drink, to several secret locations that you normally wouldn’t notice; experience Koh Lanta the way you’re meant to!

1. Ploy Pailin Restaurant

Moo 4 Kan Tiang Bay
Small and modest local restaurant that boasts an incredibly beautiful view of Kantiang Bay. Great place to have some food and a drink during sunset!

2. Toppy Bar

263 Moo 5 Kantiang Bay
Hidden among the hills that look out over the swimming pool of the Kantiang View Resort and Kantiang Bay, you’ll find Toppy Bar, where you can just chill out in a hammock.

3. Sonya’s Restaurant

62 Klong Khong Beach
On Klong Khong Beach’s main road you’ll find Sonya’s Restaurant. Breakfast includes freshly baked bread and at lunch, you can have fresh lasagna or put together your own pasta.

4. Freedom Bar

81150 Ban Koh Lanta Klong Khong Beach
Lay stretched out over relaxing seat cushions, drink in hand, while watching the sun slowly go down. Welcome to Koh Lanta!

5. Le Colibri

Moo 2 42 Phrae Ae Long Beach
In the morning, come for the freshly baked bread and at night, for the island’s best pizzas. It’s located on the main road of Long Beach.

6. Kunda Vegetarian Cafe

91/16 Klong Khong Beach
Enjoy the laid back atmosphere so typical of Koh Lanta in the cozy garden of the Kunda Vegetarian Café! Like the food it serves, this place is fair & healthy!

7. Panorama Restaurant

108 M.7 Ban Sang Ka Ou
A hidden gem in southwest Koh Lanta. The sweet owners will serve as many of their own cultivated products as possible.

8. Moloko Lanta

Moo 2 806 Relax Beach
An excellent spot to see out the day. This bar has one the most beautiful beaches right in front of it; just that is worth a drink!

9. Pad Thai Rock N Roll

Chang Wat Krabi 81150
Three guesses as to the bestseller here. Why, Pad Thai of course! This is no exaggeration: this place really does serve the best Pad Thai on the island!

10. Drunken Sailors

116 M. 5 Kantiang Bay
Hip café where you can have a nice cup of coffee, good Thai food, but also outrageously tasty hamburgers.

11. Lazy Days Restaurant

775 Moo 2 Relax Bay
An excellent restaurant on an excellent location. Marvelous freshly prepared Thai dishes but also a lot of western dishes to choose from. Great place to have lunch!

12. Why Not Bar

9 M.5 Kantiang Bay
A beach bar that’s all about having a good time and a drink while barefoot on the sand. The evening often sees live music and fire shows.

Transport in Koh Lanta

From Krabi

Most travelers to Koh Lanta will arrive from the Krabi area. The best way to get to Koh Lanta from Krabi is by ferry, which leaves from Nopparat Thara Pier (10:30 AM) in Ao Nang.


  • Travel time: 2 hours
  • Cost: ฿ 500 pp

Although Koh Lanta can be reached by minivan, we usually recommend travelers to just go by ferry. The ferry leaves from Nopparat Thara Pier (10:30 AM) in Ao Nang, half an hour’s drive from Krabi Airport. You’ll arrive on Koh Lanta at Saladan Pier.


  • Travel time: 2,5 hours
  • Cost: ฿ 400 pp

Local minivans leave from Ao Nang – Krabi Airport – Krabi Town to Koh Lanta all day long (between 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM). To reach the island you’ll also travel by ferry (15 minutes), the minivans will drop you off at the main road in the north of Koh Lanta.

Private transport

  • Travel time: 2,5 hours
  • Cost: ฿ 3,000 per van

In case you’re traveling in a group or as a family with children, it’s possible to arrange private transportation in the shape of a luxury taxi or a private minivan. You can leave anytime you like and will be dropped off right in front of your hotel on Koh Lanta.

From other destinations

Koh Samui

  • Travel time: 7 hours
  • Cost: ฿ 1,000 pp

Getting from Koh Samui to Koh Lanta is quite the journey, but it is possible to do it on one day. The trip will take about 7 hours and will cost you around ฿ 1,000 per person. Departure times are 7:30 AM, 9:00 AM and 11:30 AM.

Khao Sok National Park

  • Travel time: 6 hours
  • Cost: vary

Grab a bus/taxi to Krabi, which will take about 2 to 3 hours. Once in Krabi, you’ll need to take a minivan to Koh Lanta (the trip includes the ferry). This will take 6 hours in total. Costs depend on your choice between bus or taxi.

Koh Phi Phi

  • Travel time: 1 hour
  • Cost: ฿ 600-800 pp

Koh Lanta is around the corner from Koh Phi Phi, which means it’s only an hour away by boat. There’s a ferry that leaves for Koh Lanta three times a day, at 9:00 AM, 3:00 PM and 3:30 PM. Prices are between ฿ 600 – 800 per person.

Koh Lipe

  • Travel time: 6 hours
  • Cost: vary

During the high season, from November until February, there’s a high-speed ferry that goes from Koh Lipe to Koh Lanta. It leaves at 10:00 AM and arrives on Koh Lanta at 4:00 PM.

Getting around in Koh Lanta


Koh Lanta doesn’t have a regular taxi service, making renting a motorbike preferable. This way you can explore Koh Lanta on your own and discover its nicest spots. Rent is 180-250 Thai Baht for 24 hrs.

Tuk tuk

On the main road, in the northern part of Koh Lanta, tuk tuks will take you from the pier to your hotel. You will have to haggle over the price and the ride is not that comfortable. Still, it gets you from A to B. A ride costs anywhere between 40-400 Thai Baht.


If you’re staying way down south (45-minute ride from Saladan Pier), you’ll have to take a shared taxi. Hold on tight, the farther south you go, the more hills there are! A ride will cost 200-400 Thai Baht per person.

Weather in Koh Lanta

The best time to visit Koh Lanta is during the cool season from November – February.

November – February

The cool season is the best time to visit Koh Lanta. Nature is green and the sea is calm and clear. There will be lots of sun and temperatures can increase significantly. Luckily, there are at least one or two refreshing rain showers every week.

March – May

The hot season on Koh Lanta is synonymous with high temperatures and lots of sunshine. Surprisingly enough, there’s regular rainfall during these months as well. Never for entire days, but there are heavy rainstorms every now and again; which is quite refreshing.

June – October

The rainy season can be pretty intense with lots of rainy days and a rough sea. Koh Lanta is nearly deserted around this time, which has its advantages and its disadvantages. Half of the hotels and restaurants will be closed.

Map of Koh Lanta

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